One reason it’s taking me forever to get really rolling on Goddess of Beauty is the amount of research I’ve had to do. Egads, have I done research. I chose the plot and setting of Goddess of the Hunt (comedy of manners at a Regency house party) partly because I wanted a story I could write quickly, without getting bogged down in research.
Well, now I am bogged, mired, and drowning in research – on topics from the history of pigments, to the British anti-slavery movement, to sailing terminology, to the physiology of colorblindness, to exactly which paintings were exhibited by JMW Turner at the Royal Academy from 1815-1820. It’s tremendous fun, and GOB will be a much richer book for it, but it’s time-consuming.
But mostly I’ve been reading first-hand accounts of transatlantic voyages during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Most of these are written by men. They write about storms, and the birds and fishes they see, and the birds and fishes they see killed and eaten, and any skirmishes amongst passengers or the crew – all very useful information, but rather lacking for my purposes.
And then, I finally found an account penned by a woman: Journal of a Lady of Quality;
Being the Narrative of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies,
North Carolina, and Portugal, in the Years 1774 to 1776, by Janet Schaw.
What a revelation! Ms. Schaw – bless her! – writes not only beautifully, but she writes about all … Read More »